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What is E. Coli?

E. coli is short for Escherichia coli, a bacterium found in the lower intestines of mammals and birds. Although E. coli is necessary intestinal bacteria that help with the digestion of food, it can be very dangerous if ingested. If a person inadvertently ingests the bacteria, the resulting infection is called E. coli enteritis, which causes the small intestine to become inflamed.

Someone who has E. coli infection may have these symptoms:

  • bad stomach cramps and belly pain
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea, sometimes with blood in it

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